Floating Grounds is an exhibition in response to the site-specific video art gallery in Bangkok. Situated on an operating ferry, the exhibition explores the shifting perspectives of gestures and history, the ideological and the physical. ‘Ngallowan (They Remain)’ (2014) is a dual screen video collaboration between artist Kate Blackmore and Dharug elder and songwoman Jacinta Tobin. The work responds to W.E.H. Stanner’s notion of ‘The Great Australian Silence’ (1968) which suggested national amnesia, or what Stanner called ‘cult of forgetfulness’, silencing the history of Indigenous dispossession in Australia. An interplay between presence and disappearance, through repetitive gestures the duo performs in a dialogue that challenges the contexts of history and echoes the discontents of Australian identity. Laura Carthew’s ‘Immortal flower (무궁화)’ (2015) draws on a different experience of history. Exploring the cyclical nature of life, Carthew’s mystic female flower characters perform in a synchronised, ceremonial dance. Developed during her artist residency in Seoul, Korea in 2015, the work re-imagines Korea’s national flower: the Mugunghwa(무궁화) and its symbol of immortality. Theatrical and strangely unsettling, ‘Immortal flower (무궁화)‘ presents the cyclical journey that we each embark on, where our repetitive performances written into the grand narratives of history.

The exhibition is presented by Channels, The Australian Video Art Festival in partnership with The Ferry Gallery. Curated by Nikki Lam.

Images (top to bottom) —
1-2 Floating Grounds at The Ferry Gallery, images courtesy of The Ferry Gallery
3 Laura Carthew, Immortal Flower (무궁화), 2015, HD video still, courtesy of the artist
4 Kate Blackmore and Jacinta Tobin, Ngallowan (They Remain), 2014, HD video still, courtesy of the artists
5-6 Floating Grounds at The Ferry Gallery, images courtesy of The Ferry Gallery